We’re trying to see as many National Parks, National Monuments, etc. on our trip as possible. So, when we left Lubbock on Saturday morning, we headed directly to the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. It is outside of Fritch, Texas, and before doing research for this trip, I had never heard of it.
A few fun things we’re doing to help the boys get excited about National Parks – we each have our own National Parks Passport and will get them stamped at each national park/national monument, etc that we visit. We’re also having the boys participate in the Junior Ranger programs at the parks. The Alibates Flint Quarries were our first stop, because it is located in Texas and we wanted our first passport stamps to be in Texas.
We were welcomed to Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument by a 4 foot long snake that slithered up while Chas was in the bathroom. I hate snakes. HATE. This one apparently was: a. not venomous and b. fascinating to all four male Semples. I still shudder thinking about watching it slither all over the place. But it was definitely something we won’t forget!
Inside the visitor’s center, we saw a short film about the Flint Quarries looked at their exhibit, and picked up Junior Ranger packets for Henry and Carter. After we walked around and worked on the Junior Ranger program, we took a drive on the park road. We stopped back at the visitor center and the ranger checked the boys Junior Ranger packets, and the boys were awarded their junior ranger badges and administered their oath.
After finishing up at Alibates, we continued on our trip – next stop New Mexico! Except we ended up stopping in Texline – and now Day 2 will also be known as “the day the power steering went out on the car in Texline.” We filled the car back up with power steering fluid, but it is a persistent problem that we might have fixed while we are in Jackson. At least there, we have 5 days – and could rent a car pretty easily.
ANYWAY…back on the road….headed to New Mexico. It was about this time that we brought out the DVD player for the first time. It had already been a pretty long day and we had a long way to go, so I thought – “what the heck?” I’m kind of impressed we made it that far without using it.
We crossed into New Mexico and immediately saw a pronghorn, which was super exciting for the oldest male Semple in our car. After enough time, Teddy would point out the window and say “One! One!” because he had heard us saying “there’s one!”
We didn’t have much time (because of our delay in Texline with the power steering issue) but I still wanted to try to make it to Capulin Volcano National Monument. I first visited Capulin as one of the stops on our “Colorado Field Trip” in 8th grade. We drove into the park at 4:51 – and the rangers were already closing down for the day. The Rangers were so nice – they let me get stamps in all our passports and they opened up the road so we could be the last car up to the top of the volcano for the day.
We made it to Colorado about 8pm. We rented a house via AirBnb. It’s my first time using that – so definitely excited to report on how it goes. We’re spending all day Sunday in Colorado Springs and will leave on Monday to head toward Wyoming. I’m definitely looking forward to making sure sweet Teddy gets a good nap, as he has not been sleeping well in the car.
Henry:”Guys, guess what happens if I get bit by a rattlesnake? No cryin’. That’s right – I got shots and I didn’t cry.”
Henry as we were getting in the car to leave Alibates:”Wait guys, are we leaving?” Us:”yes.” Henry: “Buy why are we leaving a national park?!”
Chas (as we entered New Mexico): “Look boys!” Grasslands!
Carter: “(audible gasp) LIONS?!”